Today, I attended the seminar SAP Innovation Forum. A yearly event where SAP puts their new innovative technologies “on display”. And for us at Stretch, it is obvious to participate in such an event. Not due to the need for knowledge (since we already know most of the things), but rather we are considered to be innovative and want to enhance that market position.
And at the end of the day, I spoke to mr Timo Elliott, SAPs technology evangelist. A very vivid and inspiring person. He asked me what I thought had been the key message for the event. I replied that his “surfing metaphor” made my day.
In short, he compared business with surfing. Strategy is collecting the right wave and tactics and operation is riding the wave. A wave that is constantly changing and you have to adopt instantly in order not to flunk. And the only way to do this is to simultaneously collect information about what is happening around you and use the information to execute. To collect and leverage upon information from the constantly changing ocean of data. A tricky task, but conceivable with the right technology, e.g. SAP HANA.
I liked that metaphor. The idea behind it was not new to me, but the need for business intelligence upon big data in real-time became evident.
But as many times before, I reflected upon the day’s events while working out later on in the evening. I than realized that there was actually something else that became my key learning for today. Something that was almost left out.
So Mr Elliott. Here is my new answer.
You described your new, often highly, innovative solutions. We, at Stretch, participated because we consider our self as innovative.
But what about our customers? Our common customers? The competitive advantage of this decade is innovation and information. (Well, I must say the innovation has been a top candidate for almost every decade, and century as well.) Neither of us really touch upon how we, together, can make our customers innovative. And that must be the top priority objective. Not demonstrating how innovative we are ourselves. We rather firmly established that anyhow, didn’t we (even though Swedes were quite reluctant to risks…)?
So we kind of missed the point Mr Elliott. Therefore, I would like to challenge you. Somehow, I would like the agenda to be moved to the customer side. Let’s realize this view for the coming year so we specifically address this topic on the innovation forum for next. That will make the event even more interesting for our common customers. And that’s what we all want, isn’t it?